ENGL 379: introduction to professional writing
short assignment #3: feasibility study

feasibility studies defined

A feasibility study attempts to determine the practicality of a project.

The simplest type of feasibility study answers the yes-or-no question: "Should we undertake the project?" More complex studies must answer a more difficult question: "Which (if any) of several projects should we undertake?"

Most feasibility studies are internal. A plant pathology laboratory considering a new soil mixture might commission a feasibility study from one or two of its technicians; a manufacturer of aircraft engines might ask its research and development division to consider a change to ceramic parts.

For this assignment, your study will determine the feasibility of one (or several) formal proposals you will write as the final paper for this course.

A formal proposal is an offer to gather information, provide a service or provide a product. Detailed descriptions may be found in the Johnson-Sheehan's Writing Proposals and the Online Textbook's Chapter 11: Proposals. For purposes of this assignment, the most useful description may be on the Formal Proposals assignment page.


getting started

Your study may address either of two questions:

1) which of several possible subjects suits your background and interests? or

2) which of several possible granting institutions is likely to fund your project?

Answering either question will require introspection as well as some old-fashioned research. In addition, your study will address and discuss:

1) your own expertise in the area of specialization,

2) the granting institution's record of funding projects like the one you imagine, and

3) the likelihood that you or the parties you represent will actually be able to carry out the project.

All the claims you make here, especially the last, will require support with evidence. In other words, you must show that you can actually perform the work.


The study should be five to eight double-spaced pages. It should be addressed to me and written in memo form.

You may wish to discuss the possibilities of seeking funding from three or four foundations, and the likelihood of gaining funding from each. You should include a timetable or schedule, and I recommend including a Gantt chart. Most importantly, you should describe any problems you can foresee. Do all the research you can, talk with people who might know something you don't, and consider what might go wrong.

Feasibility studies you may wish to use as models (downloadable here as a PDFs) are:

Feasibility Study (1)

Feasibility Study (2)

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